Hello, and welcome to a new weekly column from your resident Voices of Wrestling Smackdown/WWE PPV Reviewer, Taylor C. Mitchell. Every Monday, I am going to step up onto my “WWE Soapbox” and let my voice be heard about some HOT topics in the WWE. The idea is to generate some conversation with everyone interested in letting their voice be heard. So, let’s get to the topics for week one and be sure to comment below with your thoughts or tweet them to me @LuchaNerd
1. Brock Lesnar becoming WWE Champion
It appears that Brock Lesnar will inevitably become the WWE champion at Summerslam, right? I mean, the WWE can’t possibly book Brock Lesnar wrong again, can they? I don’t know that one wrestler has ever been received such across-the-board negative responses to the way they are booked than this guy. The general consensus is that he should not have lost to Cena in his first return match at Extreme Rules 2012, he shouldn’t have lost to Triple H at WrestleMania 29, and that he shouldn’t have defeated The Undertaker thus ending the WrestleMania Streak. Would WWE throw away the guy who ended the streak by having him lose to Cena at Summerslam? Surely, not.
So, working with the premise that Brock Lesnar DOES win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, we are going to be in a similar (or possibly worse) situation than we were in when the Rock defeated CM Punk for the WWE title at Royal Rumble 2013. We will have a WWE champion that rarely appears on TV, frequently appears via satellite, and appears to be “above” the WWE as a performer.
The difference here would be that this could actually work for Brock Lesnar. It didn’t work for the Rock. The Rock should not have ended CM Punk’s 434 day reign as champion with a measly People’s Elbow and I will argue to the death with any who thinks otherwise. It was idiotic and unnecessary. The Rock did nothing to put the WWE over when he was walking the red carpets. The Rock would have brought as many people to watch WrestleMania as he did with or without the championship.
However! If Brock Lesnar defeats Cena and rarely appears on TV, which will have to be the case given his restricted contract, then it would just play into the aura that has followed Brock Lesnar his whole career anyways. That he feels like he is ABOVE the WWE, that he feels like he is too good for the WWE, that he does not need the WWE to achieve the success he has achieved. I say give Lesnar the title and let Heyman do his talking for him as normal and save Lesnar’s appearances for every PPV leading up to WrestleMania. This would put Lesnar defending the WWE title at Night of Champions, Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, TLC, Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, and WrestleMania. Now, the rumored payoff is Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble and defeating Lesnar at WrestleMania. Which I am all aboard on the Roman Reigns bandwagon and think this is a fantastic way to send Reigns to the top of the WWE as the 1b baby face to Cena’s 1a. Of course what does Lesnar do until then?
- Night of Champions vs. John Cena in a rematch
- Hell in a Cell vs. John Cena in a Hell in a Cell blow off match
- Survivor Series vs. Daniel Bryan in Bryan’s return match from being stripped of the title
- TLC vs. Sheamus because who wouldn’t want to see this match?
- Royal Rumble vs. Cesaro (pending a babyface turn.) Why? See previous month’s reasoning
- Elimination Chamber vs 5 other WWE guys in a dominating performance
This would give us what we wanted to see from the beginning. Everyone talked about how much different the Undertaker match at WrestleMania would have been if Lesnar was undefeated in his return leading up to that match. Imagine how dominate Lesnar would look walking into WrestleMania 31 in San Francisco after being undefeated for a year. Lesnar would be 9-0 since defeating CM Punk at Summerslam 2013. This would effectively put over whomever was to defeat him at WrestleMania.
2. The New Nation of Domination
Last week on Monday Night Raw, Xavier Woods came out in his Brother Love garb to talk some sense into the fledging Kofi Kingston and Big E. The three of them have seemingly banded together to fight the injustice they have been handed. There are rumors swirling on the dirt sheets across the internet about Mark Henry joining them, maybe Joe Lanza’s favorite Titus O’Neil will join them. Who knows? But, we can all agree that the WWE writing team has handled their last two pet-project-stables to near perfection with The Shield and Wyatt Family. This should fall in line with that. This should be a 5-6 man stable much like the original Nation of Domination. They need to be an edgy militant group. Let’s just hope they have a cool name and don’t rehash the name “Nation of Domination”. Regardless, this is the first time I am excited about anything Xavier Woods or Kofi Kingston has done.
3. Daniel Bryan takes down burglar
Daniel Bryan is a B.A. By now all of you have heard the news story. The WWE picked it up and put it all over their website without adding any bits about him being “small” or “overcoming the odds” or “being the underdog”. Notice Daniel Bryan didn’t take Brie by the hand and run away like he did against Kane? Wonder if this changed Vince McMahon’s mind about Daniel Bryan at all. Is this another example of needing to book wrestlers based on how they would actually respond in a given situation?
4. The Miz
For anyone that read my review of the July 25th episode of Smackdown, you know I am on the Miz bandwagon all the way. It might have something to do with me feeling sorry for the guy for getting so much unjustly crap thrown his way over the years. The guy’s WWE title run as a heel was really good until the Rock showed up. Miz’s cash in of the Money in the Bank briefcase was one of the most memorable and had one of the best reactions from the crowd. Once, The Rock made his return to the WWE and the WrestleMania 27 main event became more about Rock and Cena while the WWE Champion played third wheel it began to overshadow any success The Miz had garnered at the time. Then the way the main event went down did the Miz zero favors. The count out match finish, then restart with the Rock handing the victory to the Miz made the Miz look weak. It’s been all downhill since.
Another beef that the Miz receives that I feel is unjust is his Figure Four Leg lock. Everyone still talks about how he “botches” the figure four. C’mon! He botched it once. Which happened to be the first time he tried using and was terrible timing for the botch, but I have not witnessed him botching it ever again since. The Figure Four is such a basic wrestling submission hold. Heck! I used to slap it on my friend Alex all the time in the LRWF (Living Room Wrestling Federation). And to The Miz’s credit he even applied the Figure Four in a creative way in his WrestleMania 29 preshow match against Wade Barrett.
I digress; it was great to see The Miz come back with a fresh gimmick. His “Hollywood” gimmick fits him so well. He is full of himself, he is arrogant, he can work the microphone, and he has a face (aka the Money Maker) that you just want to punch a hole into.
5. Stephanie McMahon/Triple H/The Authority
It isn’t a hot fresh revelation to talk about the great days of WWE lore when Jack Tunney was President and he only appeared on WWE TV when something REALLY important was happening, but that is the kind of Anti-Authority Figure bandwagon (I’m on a lot of bandwagons) I find myself riding.
Triple H’s “decision” to utilize Brock Lesnar as his “Plan C” is completely idiotic. Why is Triple H so against John Cena being their champion? I could, sort of kind of, understand why they didn’t want Daniel Bryan to be their champion as he didn’t fit the “look” of the typical WWE wrestler. But, could they not have a more perfect “face “of the WWE than John Cena? And the whole thing about John Cena not “playing by their rules” is ludicrous. John Cena is still the company’s top spokesperson. He is still running the media circuit and granting Make a Wishes. Of course those things are off WWE TV, but you know what else happens off WWE TV? Triple H is at business meetings as a business man. Triple H is hustling and trying to get people to subscribe to the WWE Network. And this is the kind of convoluted mess the WWE gets themselves into with these stupid heel authority figures. What would have been wrong with Paul Heyman coming out with Brock Lesnar and simply challenging John Cena? Brock has every right to consider himself the #1 contender. He defeated the undefeated streak at WrestleMania!
However, on the other side of the fence, if we are going to be subjected to these stupid heel authority figure storylines, I must say that Stephanie McMahon has been absolutely fantastic in all of her segments for 2014. If Paul Heyman never appeared on WWE TV in 2014 then Stephanie would get my vote for top heel.
And Taylor C. Mitchell will step off the WWE Soapbox. Until next week! Be sure to comment below with your thoughts and follow me on twitter @LuchaNerd